There is so much to exhale and so much to “awe” let’s call it a truce and give the devil its due, Cruise never disappoints.
I don’t like sword fighting. I have never liked sword fighting. Maybe, I don’t get it. But I certainly do not agree to the rhythm of it. To a degree that I might even be hostile to the idea. To me, it is baffling to even suggest it. BUT. Then comes the director Edward Zwick. His picturization of that side (I am saying “that” for I never connected with the sword fighting) of the action with a perspective from our version of the war, the one we know, which could be the key to understand the romance between two sword fighters. And I am not saying that every decision in the film is correct.
And I am not even remotely touching to the storyline or the emotions that is claimed as the influence to all the “cling-clang!” noises. Let’s just stick to the action itself. The only weak point that I think was the slow motion shots. I didn’t find it necessary to slow down these brilliantly choreographed, dangerously performed and sharply edited action scenes. Its rapid and short nature is what made its threats and promises and myths to be supremely fearful.
With a zap an arrow hits and a swoosh the sword swings by, and in no time your perception changes about the film. What kind of a film? How its nature is going to be? And where will this bloodshed of a war going to end? Another advantage and my brother would argue the only advantage is Tom Cruise. He brings in authenticity, practical filmmaking and entirely new experience of thrill in your head when you keep the fact in mind, that he learned all those things, he did all those things and they pulled it off in this big a scale. Maybe, he is The Last Samurai of cinema.